WALDOBORO — The historic Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, in downtown Waldoboro, has been selected to participate in a national grant-making program. The church will receive a planning grant and in-kind professional services leading to the opportunity to access up to $250,000 in capital grants for its church building, which dates back to 1838.
The award comes as part of an unprecedented $14 million National Fund for Sacred Places announced by Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to assist aging churches in need of repair and restoration. The Fund will provide up to $250,000 in capital grants, in addition to planning grants and an array of services, for at least 50 individual congregations from a diversity of faiths over four years.
"We have some real issues that we need to address involving the structural integrity of the building, including part of the foundation and the steeple," said the Rev. Nancy Duncan in a press release, adding that the church's steeple is an important part of the area's skyline. "And our building is also used for a local restorative justice program as well as the historical society and other members of our community. We need to address access issues such as ADA. Old churches like this were built for people who could climb stairs."
Broad Bay was selected by the Fund due to its dedication to being a community resource for the people of Waldoboro. Restoring the historic building is seen as an opportunity to deepen the positive impact of the congregation on local residents, according to the press release.
"We are really excited to work with Broad Bay. They have sincerely sought community buy-in and see their building truly as a resource for the town. This is exactly the kind of congregation we seek to highlight with resources from the Fund," said Chad Martin, director of the National Fund.
The National Fund for Sacred Places is a collaboration that builds on Partners for Sacred Places' decades of work helping churches use best stewardship practices with their historic facilities in order to strengthen, serve and celebrate their communities for the common good. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is the nation's leading preservation organization with 60 years of advocacy and grant-making to preserve America's diverse history.
The Fund was launched with two grants totaling nearly $14 million from the Indiana-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Through this initiative, $10 million will be disbursed for capital improvements, with the remainder used for planning, technical assistance, coaching and program oversight.
FMI: sacredplaces.org (Parners for Sacred Places) and savingplaces.org (National Trust for Historic Preservation). Applications are now being accepted for the next round of grants, which will be awarded in the fall of 2017.